Ideas for recruitment and increasing numbers

So i was wondering any ideas people have or have done for recruiting new cadets? As it would be great to increase our numbers as we are very small squadron and could potentially be losing nearly half in the near future. So any ideas would be helpful especially newer ideas than the same old tried and tested which dont bring about much results.

Most successful for us was going into local secondary schools and talking about what we do, giving out information to those who are interested. Next intake after those assemblies was double the size of our previous ones!

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First have you checked that your OC and Adj are getting the expression of interest emails from the RAFAC website? You’ll find you will already have a decent pipeline coming through there - for building my sqn up post covid the website represented at least 80% of new joiners.
Then referrals - ask your current cadets to speak to their friends and family about joining.
Finally social media - does your sqn have its own website, Instagram, Facebook pages etc? Showcasing what you do is the best way to build interest.
Once you’ve got the numbers, hold an information night at your sqn. Go over the details and issue the forms to parents.
Hope that helps!

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The best way to grow a sqn is by retention and not recruitment. The way to keep cadets is with an active, vibrant and diverse training programme. You cannot do this unless your unit has a large and diverse staff team. The best way of creating a successful sqn is not by recruiting cadets who will get board and leave, but by recruiting staff who can deliver an active, vibrant and diverse training programme.


Echoing @Mr_OZ - recruit, invest, develop, nurture and retain your staff first - give yourself capacity, diversity and interest - the cadets numbers will then follow.


the same as @Mr_OZ and @Batfink but if you need recruitment take recruitment resources (such as a tent and flyers etc) to a local event (especially one your helping out at!) similar to Eastborne Airborne just with a local event that’s got a decent amount of the public attending!


Social Media has been the key to our success but you have to try many things to see what works within your community.

Local community events are perfect to get the unit out and about and for the locals to see you and the cadets. If you then ensure your taking lots of pictures, you will the be able to showcase the unit to other people within the local area.


I’ve recently returned to the organisation as a CI and am in the process of boosting cadet numbers on my unit.I spent yesterday speaking with local schools and leaflet drops at community centres and local shops etc .
The unit is in poor shape at the moment and has recently relocated so it’s a case of getting the profile up and engaging with the local area.As ever it’s amazing how many people have no idea of what the organisation can offer to young people.


My best way is to use Facebook! People share your posts. But also every month say have a purge on local groups in your area. We had about 20 groups so i just shared an advert about what we did etc. First time I did it we had 16 new recruits. Most stayed. We do really well in September. But you can it throughout the year. We also have open recruitment. Not set times. We have about 60 cadets.
I agree that you need staffing though!

I think word of mouth has always been one of the strongest methods of recruitment, and so the above rings true.

If it’s a place the cadets want to be, they’ll tell their friends/parents will chat and newcomers will feel the atmosphere and sense of purpose. It’ll feel like a place worth being. They’ll feel like they’ve joined a thriving community.

And before you know it, you’ll be running a waiting list.


Any ideas on how to attract more female recruits? The ratio of female to male queries through the RAF site seems to be between 1:4 and 1:3.

The girls who join stay longer and do well, but there just aren’t enough coming through the door!

Bizarrely on our latest intake the opposite was true we had a 4 females to 2 males ratio but that was mainly due to a friends group clique that if successful will stay or on the other hand we might lose 5 or so.